MindTouch is a powerful platform for delivering XML-based content to customers with a self-serve model. The content may include items like product information and documentation, help desk functionality or a knowledge base functionality. MindTouch provides companies and organizations with a flexible tool for communicating with customers and prospects without requiring direct contact. This self-service functionality saves on customer support overhead and gives end-users ready access to information at any time and via any online medium.
easyDITA connects with MindTouch via our MindTouch Connector. This combination offers our customers an end-to-end solution for content creation, management and delivery. In this post we’ll look at some of the ways easyDITA works with MindTouch.
Personalization: Map Templates
easyDITA appends a MindTouch template reference to all the maps that it publishes. The template selected varies based on whether the map contains submaps or only contains one level of content. This gives you the ability to control how maps containing child content are displayed in MindTouch.
Personalization: Thumbnail Images
In MindTouch, each article can have a thumbnail image associated with it which will appear when filtering search results. EasyDITA authors can set this image up via data elements within a map. It will automatically get published and set as the thumbnail.
Personalization: Custom Styling
easyDITA+MindTouch utilizes XSLT and CSS to control how your content displays in MindTouch. This makes it easy to have your content conform to brand and style guidelines. easyDITA has default styles built-in that can be modified with XSLT or CSS to provide a high degree of design options for displaying your information, without requiring formatting of each piece of content individually. Brand elements, colors, font styling, layout options and more can be formatted to ensure a consistent look and feel when delivering your information to the end user.
Content created within easyDITA and delivered via MindTouch can be filtered so that users only see content relevant to their particular needs, eliminating unnecessary searching through large quantities of content not relevant to that customer. This is done with conditional filters based on metadata created in easyDITA.
DITA Profiling attributes can be automatically converted into MindTouch conditionalization. MindTouch supports showing/hiding content based on a user’s groups. This, in combination with MindTouch’s Single Sign On (SSO) capabilities, allows for seamless integration of application help and documentation. The easyDITA MindTouch Connector supports mapping DITA profiling attributes to MindTouch groups so that profiled content only appears for certain users.
Other filters include permissions-based filtering and the ability to use key references within a DITA map to impose conditional restrictions, without requiring those restrictions to be embedded within each topic in easyDITA.
Many of our customers wish to link their MindTouch help pages with context-sensitive help within their application. By setting the Context ID value for a given topic or map, this will create a permanent link to that file via the URL specified in the Context ID value. This allows the customer’s context-sensitive help links to remain constant while linking to a possibly different page (if the title or URL change upon an update, the Context ID link will remain constant).
Keywords are automatically pushed into MindTouch as “Tags” for a given page. There is also the ability to set up custom MindTouch “Classifications” that correspond to DITA metadata within easyDITA.
If you wish to use classifications within MindTouch to make searching by audience easier, you can set up the easyDITA configuration to map the prolog audience element to the “Audience” custom classification that enhances your searching capabilities.
MindTouch supports manually defining recommended search results based on given keywords. EasyDITA allows you to set these up via metadata on a given topic. By setting metadata on maps and topics, you can manually set recommended results for any given searches.
easyDITA optionally supports the fetching of MindTouch comments into the easyDITA authoring interface. If a user comments on a document within MindTouch, easyDITA will grab it and display it within the topic editor for authors to resolve. Once the comment has been archived within easyDITA, the comment is deleted in MindTouch.
The Power of easyDITA+MindTouch
The easyDITA+MindTouch connection gives you the ability to create and manage content within easyDITA and automatically publish well-formatted, searchable, context-sensitive information to your end-users. When content is edited or updated, those updates can be published immediately and that content will be updated anywhere in MindTouch where that information is being used, without requiring manual updates to each instance of that content.